PRESIDENT John Magufuli has directed the new leadership of the Ministry of Minerals to work closely with other ministries and government institutions to come up with new strategies that will enable the nation to reap more from the mining sector.
The Head of State issued the directive at the State House after he presided over the swearing in of newly appointed ministers, permanent and deputy permanent secretaries and other leaders, yesterday.
Dr Magufuli expressed his dismay at the failure by the Ministry of Minerals to come up with new strategies to curb loopholes of theft of minerals in the country, the malpractice that denies the government of its rightful revenue.
According to him, the ministry was not performing well and that he will continue making changes whenever there is a problem.
“I won’t tolerate anything that will delay the development, reshuffles will be there until I get the right person who will deliver to the expectations of our fellow Tanzanians,” he said.
On board, the President instructed the ministry to establish mineral centres in all zones.
“The Ministry of Minerals must sit together with the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) to discuss how the government can start buying gold and establish gold reserves,” said Dr Magufuli.
The President went on to explain that BoT should invest in buying gold so that it can be sold later on; “…this will be the best way for us as a country to have good records on the amount of minerals being sold every year.”
He said that the same should be done for the mineral concentrates, as the country has been losing a lot of revenue; “...at least we can set up even a small refinery like the one installed in Uganda.”
The President was of the view that the move will enable Tanzania to benefit more from minerals, hence help improve social services.
“It is frustrating to see that Tanzania is not the leading trader of gold in East African Countries (EAC) despite having a lot of mines,” noted the Head of State.
According to Dr Magufuli, BoT should use some of the dollars in buying gold; this among others will play a huge part in stabilising our money and protecting national resources the country has.
The event was attended by the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, Speaker of Parliament Job Ndugai, Chief Justice Prof Ibrahim Juma and Secretary General of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Dr Bashiru Ally.
In his remarks, Mr Majaliwa reminded the appointees to work hard as the country is depending on them.
“You have started the New Year with a huge trust from President Magufuli, so we expect you all to deliver accordingly,” said the Premier.
On the other hand, Mr Ndugai pledged that the parliament would provide total cooperation to all appointees so that they can deliver.
“You have been trusted, so it’s your time to prove that you are the best; let’s work hard for the greater interest of the country,” the Speaker said